“I Appreciate You.” What does it mean? And why is it important?

Michael QuanGiving, Misc, Personal Development18 Comments

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I appreciate you

Today I’m taking a quick break from writing a typical finance article, and instead, I am reflecting on being mindful and grateful with three special words…

“I appreciate you.”

These are simple enough words.  But, it can hold an impactful meaning for the recipient of the message, and also the communicator.

Let’s break it down… The key word in this sentence is “appreciate“.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, appreciate means –  to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of

But, what does it mean within “I” and “You” included?

“I appreciate you” is more than just a definition to me, and likely you as well.  But, why?

The Power of Words

It’s fascinating how 3 simple words can be so powerful.  But, they are!

When I tell you that “I appreciate you”, it gives me pause.  It triggers me to slow down and really process how and why you are significant to me.

I want you to know that your actions were worthwhile and impacted my life in a positive way.

How do you feel when those words are spoken to you? Is it a platonic message or something more?

What does it really mean?

Sometimes when I say, “I appreciate you”, it may have different meanings. It may depend on who I’m speaking to, so you’ll want to consider the context of the conversation.

For example, when I’m very grateful for someone’s help, I may instinctively say these words.

It’s a way to say thank you with extra emphasis.

And, it tells you that I don’t take you for granted.

On the other hand, some may use “I appreciate you” to avoid expressing the word “love”. Love can be scary sometimes when we’ve been hurt before. But I think it’s important to be accurate with our words. Say what you mean and mean what you say, right?

Appreciate those Around You on Life’s Journeys

Life is a culmination of ups and downs, highs and lows.

Some highs could be:

  • Celebrating a birthday
  • Receiving a promotion or bonus at work
  • The birth of a new baby
  • Buying your first home
  • Reaching a financial independence benchmark

On the flip side, lows could be:

  • Getting laid off
  • The passing of a loved one
  • Losing your house
  • Getting a divorce
  • Repeating old mistakes

However, have you ever considered what makes these events truly stand out?

I would argue it’s the quality of the people around you during these times, good or bad.

What’s the first thing you want to do when you get good news?

Most of us would want to get out there and share it with someone else!  We do this because it can magnify the feeling.

Conversely, when we hit troubled times, we can get through those times easier with the help of others.

“I appreciate you for being there.”

Expanding the Meaning Further

“I appreciate you” is a powerful sentence that can be built upon.  And, it can have an even deeper impact by following it up with some additional details.

Here’s an example I used recently with my wife:

Context:  I’ve been trying to eat healthier and avoiding meat

In addition to cauliflower soup, my wife made this mushroom & shrimp soba noodle salad.

Action: My wife cooked me a delicious meal that was completely vegetarian, but also incredibly tasty!

Acknowledgment:I appreciate you.  It means so much that you took the time and effort to keep me healthy, and it was yummy too.  I really enjoyed it and it’s helping make this diet so much easier.

The Magic of Appreciation

Want to know the secret to instant happiness?

(I can’t take credit for this one, but it’s a fantastic idea I learned from Tony Robbins.)

You can be instantly happy, right now, by simply trading your expectations, for appreciation.

Think about it. Can you truly be upset, stressed, or suffering if you are truly grateful and appreciative?  It can’t be done!

Other Ways to Say “I appreciate you”

Here are several other ways to say I appreciate you:

  • Thank you so much.
  • You mean the world to me.
  • Your thoughts mean so much.
  • I love you.
  • You don’t know what this means to me.
  • Your intentions are heartfelt.
  • You are so thoughtful.
  • I am so grateful for your service.

Don’t forget to express these sentiments to those you love, who serve you (teachers, law enforcement, military, neighbors, family, friends, etc…)!

Acts of Kindness

It’s easy enough to say “I appreciate you” and “Thank you”. But, what if you were to back this up with some action as well?

The past few weeks my mother-in-law was staying with us. I was out on 3 separate occasions attending conferences, going fishing, and taking care of some business. She was helping to care for our kids while I was away. She did school pickups, taekwondo lessons, cooked meals, etc.

I was so grateful, and yet I knew she didn’t want me to get her anything gift wise. So instead, I made her a card (this site is great for making free greeting cards) and told her how much it meant to me that she would allow me to travel freely and pursue my own needs.

Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to make someone feel appreciated. The magic is in your sincerity, presence, and actions.

Appreciation and Money

Your Money BoxWhen was the last time you felt appreciation for money?

Money is a wonderful tool that allows us to transfer value quickly and easily.

Imagine if you had to trade physical trinkets or services in our modern world!

I appreciate you, money!  🙂

Final Thoughts

So what do you think?  Do you value these three words as much to you too?

By the way, if you’re a returning reader or even a brand new one, I appreciate you!  Truly I do.

When I first started this blog, it was just a side hobby to keep my mind active.  But writing these past four years has really given me a way to express myself, step out of my comfort zone, and meet great people.

Thank you for your support with the second half of my FI (financial independence) journey.  It’s been so fun and challenging too!  I don’t know where life will take me next, but I going to have fun finding out.

In the meantime, I’m going to double down on creating more content for you.

Readers, who do you need to say, “I appreciate you” to?  What do these 3 words mean to you?


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18 Comments on ““I Appreciate You.” What does it mean? And why is it important?”

  1. I just started bartending again in my retirement years and so many customers have said ,upon leaving, I appreciate you. I had never heard this before as a bartender, so I was curious if it could be sarcastic.

  2. I’m not a fan of this. It’s weak. I’m not sure what it means really. It’s too open ended and imprecise. It feels like an emotional dodge–an easy way to express gratitude without risking too much of yourself.

    Be more specific: I appreciate you helping me with ___. I appreciate you thinking enough to send flowers. I appreciate your prayers. I appreciate you letting my dog out when I worked late yesterday.

    To me, those are far more meaningful and concrete than the emotionally void “I appreciate you.”

    If someone is truly an all-around wonderful person who is constantly doing many kind and thoughtful things for you and you want to express your general gratitude to them, then say so! Use a few more words and let them know what’s in your heart. “I appreciate you” falls way short for that.

    P.S. Good blog post except I think you lost the plot a bit with the “I appreciate you, money” section–better without that as it detracts from everything else you said. And, also, fwiw, it’s ‘whom’ not ‘who’. 😉

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kim. It’s fascinating to hear people’s varying opinions on this phrase. I do agree that in certain circumstances that details are better than being vague. It adds an extra layer of understanding that may otherwise get lost.

  3. I personally strongly dislike the phrase, “I appreciate you.” It can be from anything from a woman respectfully telling you “I love you, but we will only ever be friends” to, “You mean the world to me.” There is often times where with 2-4 words more you can put in much more thought and description of how you actually appreciate them (and with it leaving a greater impact without being interpreted the wrong way.)

    1. Yes, it’s true that a few more words before or after “I appreciate you” would completely change the context. And, we also want to watch for body language.

  4. I received a random text tonight from a guy i am dating (not dating) . Out of the blue I got : “Your very thoughtful ya know. Just saying..”. So he appreciates and acknowledges my efforts?, which i appreciate he even noticed i am but how do i respond to that?

    1. If a guy notices your thoughtfulness, he’s definitely paying attention. So, perhaps a simple thank you would so. Or if you’re into him, you might share what you appreciate about him.

  5. Someone told me they appreciated me last night and I got to be the person whose face lit up. I feel like I’m taken for granted a lot but hearing that made my life, pretty much 😀

    1. Devon, my best advice is to just give it a try. Hosting plans are super cheap these days, so you could literally start today and be up in an hour or less. I’d definitely recommend using WordPress. Hope that helps!

  6. If someone tells you “I appreciate you” could that be an attempt to avoid the word “love”?

  7. I think it’s amazing to appreciate one another.
    I recently sent a text to a close friend of mine expressing my appreciation and he replied with “the feeling is mutual” so l felt good.

  8. I appreciate this site and your post.

    Those 3 words are extremely powerful. I don’t recall the last time saying them “I appreciate you” or receiving them.

    Do you think it is better to give than to receive those 3 words?

    1. Ah, fantastic question! It’s a hard choice.

      I really love feeling appreciated. But, I like saying “I appreciate you” more because seeing it light up someone’s face is priceless.

      I appreciate you for commenting, Rich. It’s always more fun to write knowing that you’re being heard. 🙂

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